14 Sep 2018
The XXI World Congress on Safety and Health 2017 is officially launched by Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong today! Speaking as the Guest-of-Honour at its opening ceremony, PM Lee expressed in his speech that he was glad to see a wide representation of delegates attending the conference, who came from over 100 countries across 6 continents.
He shared Singapore’s WSH journey in the past decade—the impetus of looking hard into Singapore’s WSH practices, challenges of Singapore’s unique workforce and companies’ constraints to managing WSH. To tackle these challenges, Singapore implemented the WSH Act in 2006, formed an International Advisory Panel on WSH and formed the WSH Council in 2008 to foster greater industry ownership of WSH and widen outreach to workers.
As a result of the collective efforts of the government and industry, PM Lee is heartened that Singapore’s workplace fatality rate was down to 1.9, in 2016, less than half of what it was in 2004. However, he stressed that this is not the good enough and Singapore will aim to reduce its workplace fatality rate to below 1.0 per 100, 000 by 2028.
In order to achieve to achieve this, PM Lee revealed a three-pronged approach:
- Tripartite approach to WSH: Singapore would maintain its tripartite approach where employers, workers and unions, and the government work together to improve WSH.
- Total WSH: Companies to adopt Total WSH which would involve them taking a proactive, comprehensive and integrated assessment of all workplace risks. To help smaller companies implement Total WSH, Singapore is piloting a Total WSH Centre to provide a one-stop service to some 300
companies in Woodlands. If this approach works well, more of these centres will be set up in other industrial zones.
- Technology: Companies to use technology more pervasively to reduce risks of workplace accidents and ill-health. To encourage companies to use technology more, MOM will launch a Workplace Safety and Health Technology Challenge to fund companies and research institutes to develop new technological solutions.
PM Lee reiterated the importance of human lives, “every life counts, every worker matters”, and is confident that even though “we will have to work hard… we can achieve the new target.” He then ended his speech by encouraging all delegates to make good use of their participation at the World Congress to share and learn from one another, develop new ideas and make meaningful connections.
With 3 keynotes, 6 technical sessions, 32 symposia sessions, 20 technical tours, SafeYouth@Work Congress and Media Competition, International Media Festival for Prevention, International Safety and Health Exhibition and poster exhibition, World Congress 2017 is packed to the brim with something for everyone! Stay tuned for daily updates!
To read the full speech by Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, during the opening ceremony of the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2017, click here